St Catherine’s Chapel, 100m north-east of Artington Court
Reasons for Designation
A medieval chapel is a building, usually rectangular, containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate for Christian worship in the pre- Reformation period. Chapels were designed for congregational worship and were generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provided accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which was the main domain of the priest and contained the principal altar. Around 4000 parochial chapels were built between the 12th and 17th centuries as subsidiary places of worship built for the convenience of parishioners who lived at a distance from the main parish church. Other chapels were built as private places of worship by manorial lords and lie near or within manor houses, castles or other high-status residences. Chantry chapels were built and maintained by endowment and were established for the singing of masses for the soul of the founder. Some chapels possessed burial grounds. Unlike parish churches, the majority of which remain in ecclesiastical use, chapels were often abandoned as their communities and supporting finances declined or disappeared. Many chantry chapels disappeared after the dissolution of their supporting communities in the 1540s. Hilltop chapels dedicated to St. Catherine are known from the medieval period and include well-known examples at St. Catherine’s Hill outside Winchester, Hampshire, and Abbotsbury, Dorset. They were often situated on hills as landmarks for travellers although this only partly explains their function.
Chapels, like parish churches, have always been major features of the landscape. A significant number of surviving examples are identified as being nationally important. The sites of abandoned chapels, where positively identified, are particularly worthy of statutory protection as they were often left largely undisturbed and thus retain important information about the nature and date of their use up to their abandonment.
St Catherine’s Chapel, 83m north-east of Artington Court survives in very good condition with a large amount of upstanding stone remains still in existence. The area around the Chapel is likely to contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the use and history of the site.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15/10/14. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the remains of a chapel built shortly before 1317. It is situated on a hilltop overlooking the River Wey, which is 100m to the east. It was erected by Richard de Wauncey, Rector of St Nicholas on the site of an earlier chapel. The chaplain of that chapel is recorded in a Pipe Role of 1230. St Catherine’s Chapel, which is now roofless, is constructed of sandstone with ashlar stone dressings. It is rectangular in plan and spans three bays in length, measuring about 15.5m by 8m internally. The walls are buttressed and pinnacles originally stood on the north and south sides. A taller quoined turret is located in the north-west corner. The windows are in Decorated style, two were converted to doorways on the north and south sides with outside steps probably during restoration in the late 18th century. The chapel was no longer in use by about 1546 and is not mentioned in the list of chapels or chantries suppressed under Edward VI. Traditionally it was reputed to be a pilgrim’s chapel on the pilgrim’s route to Canterbury but may equally have served the local community. It was partly restored as a ‘romantic ruin’ by Robert Austen in 1793. It is listed Grade I.
There are other archaeological remains nearby but these are not scheduled as they have not been formally accessed.